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Ken Feldman

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Re: Coal
« Reply #1550 on: October 01, 2019, 07:44:44 PM »
China to open $30bn coal railway by end of month

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Deemed the world’s longest heavy freight line, a $30bn railway built to haul coal from China’s northern mines to its eastern and central provinces is set to open by the end of this month.
The Haoji line will carry up to 200 million tonnes of coal a year from Haole Baoji in the Inner Mongolia autonomous region to the city of Ji'an in Jiangxi province, a distance of around 1,800km.

China Railways has been working on the line for the past seven years, and is now completing work on the last section, which intersects with the Shanghai–Kunming Railway in Jiangxi’s Xinyu City.

The line will fuel China’s network of coal-fired plants – officially capped at 1,100GW – as well as what one recent report described as a “tsunami” of plants under construction, which may add another 259GW of installed capacity.

Although China has suffered severe air pollution, and is working to develop renewable energy, some 60% of its power is still generated from coal.

Bloomberg reports that the aim of the line is to reorientate the country’s coal distribution infrastructure, which is predominantly moves coal from western mines to eastern ports, where it is moved by ship to plants in the south.

The new line is set to cut the 20 days required by the seaborne route to three.

http://www.globalconstructionreview.com/news/china-open-30bn-coal-railway-end-month/

Good planning in China as they're closing coal plants!  They might be able to get five to ten years out of it.  I hope it's useful for something other than coal.

https://oilprice.com/Latest-Energy-News/World-News/China-Looks-To-Shut-Several-Obsolete-Coal-Plants-By-End-2019.html

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China targets to have 8.7 GW of coal-fired capacity shut by the end of 2019 as the country continues its coal-to-natural gas switch to fight air pollution.
According to China’s energy regulator, National Energy Administration (NEA), all regions and provinces in the country are told to have their coal-fired power units of less than 50,000 kilowatts (kW) shut down, Reuters quoted the regulator as saying on Sunday.
China will also close obsolete coal-fired power capacity that has reached the end of its design life, as well as larger coal plants of up to 100,000 kW in areas covered by large power grids, according to the regulator.

The total 8.7 GW of coal-fired capacity targeted for elimination accounts for just below 1 percent of China’s overall capacity, according to Reuters.

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-china-carbon/china-co2-emissions-to-peak-in-2022-ahead-of-schedule-government-researcher-idUSKCN1VQ1K0

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But Jiang Kejun, research professor with the Energy Research Institute, a unit of the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC), China’s top planning body, said he had “extreme confidence” in Beijing’s ability to bring emissions to a peak by 2022 on just a “business as usual” trajectory.
“China already has very strong policies and for me, just continuing to do that could be enough,” he told Reuters on the sidelines of the Fortune Sustainability Forum at the Fuxian Lake in the southwestern province of Yunnan.

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One major concern has been the rebound in coal consumption and the possible approval of new coal-fired power projects, with officials now debating whether more capacity is required to meet future electricity shortages, said Yang Fuqiang, senior adviser with the Natural Resources Defense Council, a U.S.-based environmental group.

An industry group has forecast China’s coal-fired capacity to peak at 1,300 gigawatts (GW), an increase of nearly 300 GW compared to the end of last year.
Eric Luo, chief executive of Chinese renewable energy manufacturer GCL, said it was unlikely another 300 GW would be necessary, adding that a 2022 peak in carbon emissions was plausible.
“After 2022, coal emissions should slow down, with the number of new coal plants falling,” he told Reuters. “Even if they have approved another 200GW... it doesn’t make sense to build so much.”

Ken Feldman

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Re: Coal
« Reply #1551 on: October 01, 2019, 07:53:52 PM »
It's amusing to see people still posting glowing projections for the growth of coal when it has become more expensive than wind and solar.  By that I mean that the operating costs for coal power plants are more expensive than simply shutting them down and building new wind and solar.

This article is from February 2019, well before the articles Rboyd linked to on the previous page.

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-column-russell-coal-india/coal-going-from-winner-to-loser-in-indias-energy-future-russell-idUSKCN1Q90OP

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NEW DELHI (Reuters) - India’s demand for electricity is expected to double in the next two decades, and coal has been long forecast to be the fuel of choice for power generation. But this may no longer be the case.

It’s not that India doesn’t have plentiful reserves of coal. It does, and it is the world’s second-largest producer and importer, following China.

It’s not even that India’s reserves are expensive to mine. They aren’t.

It’s not even that transporting coal from where it’s mined to where it’s needed is too difficult. Yes, it is an issue, but this challenge could be overcome with sufficient investment in rail and other infrastructure.

No, the main reason coal may battle to fuel India’s future energy needs is that it’s simply becoming too expensive relative to renewable energy alternatives such as wind and solar.

In recent months, power supply auctions have shown that renewables can be offered at less than 3 rupees (4 U.S. cents) per kilowatt hour, a tariff that coal-fired generators have difficulty matching.

There is also zero chance that new coal generators can produce electricity at rates competitive to renewables, given higher capital and operating costs.

gerontocrat

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Re: Coal
« Reply #1552 on: October 01, 2019, 09:15:21 PM »
It's amusing to see people still posting glowing projections for the growth of coal when it has become more expensive than wind and solar.  By that I mean that the operating costs for coal power plants are more expensive than simply shutting them down and building new wind and solar.

Not amusing, more a demonstration of inertia (e.g. Hinkley) and covert control by industrialists (e.g. of Block A in India).

So it is very unlikely (barring a new Global Financial crisis) that emissions from coal will peak in 2020.
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Ken Feldman

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Re: Coal
« Reply #1553 on: October 01, 2019, 09:45:19 PM »
It's amusing to see people still posting glowing projections for the growth of coal when it has become more expensive than wind and solar.  By that I mean that the operating costs for coal power plants are more expensive than simply shutting them down and building new wind and solar.

Not amusing, more a demonstration of inertia (e.g. Hinkley) and covert control by industrialists (e.g. of Block A in India).

So it is very unlikely (barring a new Global Financial crisis) that emissions from coal will peak in 2020.

As more renewables are deployed (since they are cheaper than coal), the coal facilities will be idled.  They'll eventually be shut down as keeping idle facilities maintained with no income is a losing proposition.  It's already happening in the US and Europe.  Take Spain for example:

https://www.greentechmedia.com/articles/read/enel-subsidiary-to-close-all-its-coal-capacity#gs.6v3yzq

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Enel Subsidiary to Close Coal Capacity in Spain
Coal power can no longer keep up in mainland Spain, Enel’s Endesa unit tells investors.
John Parnell September 30, 2019

Coal power is no longer competitive in mainland Spain, according to Enel subsidiary Endesa, as the company plans to shut down all of its coal-fired generation capacity on the Iberian peninsula.
Endesa operates 23 gigawatts of capacity in total in Spain and Portugal, including 7.5 gigawatts of “traditional thermal power."

In a statement to the Spanish stock exchange, Endesa was unequivocal on its view of coal’s near-term future, blaming market conditions and carbon pricing.

“This structural situation has determined that mainland coal-fired thermal power plants are not competitive, and therefore their operation in the electricity generation market is not foreseeable in the future.”

Endesa flagged a likely write-down of €1.3 billion ($1.4 billion) as a result of the shutdown, including decommissioning costs. It did not provide a timeline.

In the first half of 2019, the company generated half as much power from its coal fleet as it did in the same period last year, without closing any capacity. That alone suggests the writing was very much on the wall.


rboyd

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Re: Coal
« Reply #1554 on: October 01, 2019, 10:00:41 PM »
Its has been really amusing for years now reading the exponents of endless exponential growth in renewables that will quickly reduce fossil fuel (including coal) usage that contrast with the actual reality of societal complexity and power relations (Smil is very good on this), real cost accounting (as against meaningless and misleading operational cost comparisons) and the actual forecasts of the renewables industry associations.

The numbers will speak, and coal consumption will not meaningfully fall in the next 5-10 years on a  global basis - barring a major global recession.

I also keep my eyes on the East, as changes in the US and Europe are highly misleading from a global perspective.

Ken Feldman

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Re: Coal
« Reply #1555 on: October 08, 2019, 07:46:36 PM »
China's situation is pretty complicated.  On the one hand, the Government claims it is acting to clean up pollution and working to cap China's carbon emissions.  On the other, it keeps approving new coal-fired power plants, even though they will have to shut down before they reach the end of thier useful lives.

https://www.cnn.com/2019/09/28/asia/china-coal-plant-inner-mongolia-intl-hnk/index.html

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The huge Mengneng Xilin Thermal Power Plant's third unit, expected to deliver 700 megawatts of power to China's north, was ordered to cease construction in January 2017.
The order came from China's National Energy Administration as part of a government plan to eliminate millions of tons of "overcapacity" caused by a rush of approvals and the construction of "illegal" power plants. It is also part of President Xi Jinping's pledge to reduce the country's reliance on coal and reach peak carbon emissions by 2030.

But even as China reiterated its commitment to reducing emissions last week in New York, earlier this month at least three large, new coal-fired power stations appeared to be either operating or under construction in Inner Mongolia in northern China -- including Mengneng Xilin.

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In 2018, China sourced 59% of its energy from coal and 22% from gas, nuclear power and renewable energy.

By next year, it has pledged to reduce its reliance on coal to 58%, and to continue ramping up its renewable energy to a target of 20% by 2030. In 2017, China accounted for almost half of all investment in renewable energy worldwide.

"I think on one hand, China has already become the largest manufacturer developer and investor when it comes to some of the most advanced renewable technologies," Greenpeace's Li said.
"But on the other hand... China is pumping money into coal, both at home but also overseas."

According to Climate Action Tracker, China's carbon emissions rose an estimated 2.3% in 2018, the second consecutive year of growth after emissions appeared to stall between 2014 and 2016.

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The quiet approvals of these coal power plants doesn't just make life harder for the Inner Mongolian herders or local officials struggling to meet their pollution goals, it could completely undermine global efforts to stop climate change.

Analysis by climate change activist group CoalSwarm, released in 2018, found that if China finished construction on all the new planned coal power plants while still operating their older stations, it would make it very difficult for the international community to avoid rapid temperature increases.

"Complying with the Paris agreement requires rapid retirement of the current coal fleet and no additional capacity additions," the analysis said.

Not only is China's funding of coal power stations domestically a problem, but a 2019 report by the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis found that Chinese companies were helping or promising to finance at least one in four newly-constructed polluting plants globally.

Ken Feldman

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Re: Coal
« Reply #1556 on: October 09, 2019, 12:09:10 AM »
Japan is facing billions of dollars in stranded coal assets as renewables become cheaper than coal.

https://e360.yale.edu/digest/as-solar-and-wind-become-cheaper-japan-faces-billions-in-stranded-coal-assets

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As Solar and Wind Become Cheaper, Japan Faces Billions in Stranded Coal Assets
The decreasing costs of solar and wind energy could generate $71 billion in stranded coal assets in Japan by 2025, according to a new report from the Carbon Tracker Initiative, a financial think tank, and the University of Tokyo. Offshore wind power will be cheaper than coal in Japan by 2022, new solar cheaper by 2023, and onshore wind less expensive by 2025.

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“Building coal power today equals high-cost power and fiscal liabilities tomorrow,” the report says. “Japan’s planned and operating coal capacity is partially protected by regulations that give coal generators an unfair advantage in the marketplace.”

Sigmetnow

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Re: Coal
« Reply #1557 on: October 09, 2019, 03:30:08 AM »
Court: Trump's EPA Can’t Erase Interstate Smog Rules
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A federal appeals court panel on Tuesday struck down a 2018 Trump administration rule that had relieved states of their obligation to curb air pollution that causes smog in downwind states hundreds of miles away.

The ruling requires the Environmental Protection Agency to draw up a new plan for addressing the nation's long-standing problems with ground-level ozone, or smog, to meet the requirements of the Clean Air Act. It's a task that the Trump administration has made far more difficult by rolling back the restrictions on coal power plant pollution in the Clean Power Plan, the Obama administration's signature policy on climate change.

The court's decision extends the Trump administration's losing record in defending its rollbacks of environmental regulations—this time, with the ruling coming from one of the president's own judicial picks. ...
https://insideclimatenews.org/news/02102019/cross-border-smog-ruling-coal-power-trump-obama-clean-air-act
People who say it cannot be done should not interrupt those who are doing it.

rboyd

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Re: Coal
« Reply #1558 on: October 10, 2019, 01:21:42 AM »
‘Coal is still king’ in Southeast Asia even as countries work toward cleaner energy

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KEY POINTS
Not only will coal continue to be the dominant fuel source in power generation in Southeast Asia, its use will grow and peak in 2027 before slowing, according to a Wood Mackenzie study.
The Indonesian government has targeted generating 23% of electricity from renewable sources by 2025 — almost double the 12% now, but it will be “difficult to achieve because capacity expansion plans are still dominated by coal,” Moody’s analysts say.
Global coal demand grew for a second straight year to reach 0.7% in 2018, International Energy Agency data shows.

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“The narrative surrounding coal has been pessimistic across the world. This will result in the gradual slowdown of new coal-fired capacity in Southeast Asia,” said Jacqueline Tao, research associate at Wood Mackenzie, a commodity consultancy.

“However, the reality of rising power demand and affordability issues in the region mean that we will only start to see coal’s declining power post-2030,” Tao said on Sept. 25 when the consultancy released a new report.

“Coal is still king in Southeast Asia’s power market,” according to Wood Mackenzie.

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The demand surge is primarily driven by Indonesia and Vietnam, accounting for almost 60% of Southeast Asian power demand by 2040, said Tao.

https://www.cnbc.com/2019/10/01/coal-is-still-king-in-southeast-asia-despite-clean-energy-efforts.html

sidd

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Re: Coal
« Reply #1559 on: October 10, 2019, 05:49:59 AM »
Follow the money. There are some powerful interests like the Adanis who are fighting tooth and nail to survive. China screwed them over, India didn't bail em out, now they are concentrating on Indonesia and wherever else they can lock in contracts. But i doubt they will survive, as i have said before.

sidd

 

Ken Feldman

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Re: Coal
« Reply #1560 on: October 10, 2019, 05:53:16 PM »
Chile is replacing its coal plants with renewables.

http://ieefa.org/engie-to-replace-its-coal-plants-in-chile-with-1000mw-of-renewable-energy/

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Engie Energia Chile SA launched on Friday the construction phase of its investment plan to install 1,000 MW of renewables, which starts with three projects in the Chilean region of Antofagasta.

Two of the three are already in construction, the Chilean energy company said. These are the 150-MW Calama wind farm and the 100-MWp Capricornio solar park, both slated to begin operations throughout 2021.

Construction of the third project, the 120-MWp Tamaya solar park, is expected to commence in the first quarter of 2020. Engie Chile estimates that the initial investment in the three schemes will reach around USD 300 million (EUR 273.4m).

Ken Feldman

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Re: Coal
« Reply #1561 on: October 10, 2019, 06:34:46 PM »
China's largest energy companies are taking a huge financial risk with coal.

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2019-10-06/china-s-coal-power-giants-seen-charging-ahead-into-climate-risks

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China's Coal Power Giants Seen Charging Ahead Into Climate Risks
By Jasmine Ng
October 6, 2019, 9:01 AM PDT

China’s top six listed coal-power generators are failing to respond to climate change, lagging international peers and leaving them misaligned with Beijing’s broader environmental policies, according to a sustainability and governance risk consultant.

That’s keeping shareholders without adequate information on how the firms are addressing climate change or adjusting their businesses to adapt, Singapore-based Asia Research & Engagement said in a report Monday. The companies, with a combined market capitalization of almost $91 billion at the mid-year, account for about a fifth of China’s power and emitted nearly 3% of the world’s carbon dioxide in 2017, according to ARE.

“China’s large listed power companies are struggling to take meaningful steps on the transition to cleaner energy,” ARE said in the report. “Foreign investors find it harder to justify holding shares.”

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“International investors are under pressure to reduce exposure to coal,” ARE said in the report. “Without a transition pathway to generating portfolios with cleaner characteristics the companies will face increasing challenges in marketing their shares internationally.”

Ken Feldman

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Re: Coal
« Reply #1562 on: October 10, 2019, 06:39:01 PM »
Poland is importing record amounts of electricity because it costs less than the domestically produced coal power.

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-poland-energy-imports/polands-cleaner-power-imports-pile-pressure-on-coal-energy-idUSKBN1WP256

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WARSAW (Reuters) - Poland is on track to import a record amount of electricity this year as power traders buy cheaper and cleaner electricity from neighboring countries, reducing demand for the mostly coal-fired energy produced by state-run utilities.

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The majority of Poland’s electricity imports this year came from Sweden and Germany, where average wholesale prices in the first half of the year were 175 zlotys ($44.71) and 165 zlotys per MWh respectively compared to 229 zlotys in Poland.

Exports amounted to 2.9 TWh and 4.2 TWh in 2018 and 2017 respectively. Until 2014, Poland exported more energy than it imported.

Analysts said that while Poland continues to produce most of its electricity from coal, prices will be higher than in neighboring countries, which use more green energy sources.

Ken Feldman

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Re: Coal
« Reply #1563 on: October 10, 2019, 11:55:34 PM »
South Africa's coal exporting companies are facing increased competition as global demand for coal declines.

https://www.dailymaverick.co.za/article/2019-09-17-sa-coal-is-burning-out-quicker-than-expected/

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A report on the export outlook for South African coal published today by the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis (IEEFA), a respected international energy think-tank, warns that new energy technologies will replace coal-fired power faster than most predict.

Eskom and Sasol, which together take nearly two thirds of the 250 million tonnes of coal produced by South African mines each year, are planning to curb their use of the fossil fuel.

And there are signs that major coal importers like India, Pakistan and South Korea – which together take more than half of South Africa’s coal exports – are either transitioning away from coal or have limited growth potential. As the overall market shrinks, South Africa is expected to face increased competition from other coal exporters such as Indonesia, Australia and Russia.

Ken Feldman

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Re: Coal
« Reply #1564 on: October 11, 2019, 12:16:13 AM »
‘Coal is still king’ in Southeast Asia even as countries work toward cleaner energy


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The demand surge is primarily driven by Indonesia and Vietnam, accounting for almost 60% of Southeast Asian power demand by 2040, said Tao.


LOL.  Even in Southeast Asia, renewables beat coal on price.

https://thediplomat.com/2019/10/can-southeast-asia-ditch-coal/

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The world’s dirtiest fossil fuel is in decline from the United States to western Europe. But in Southeast Asia coal has found one of its final frontiers: last year it was the only region where coal’s share of power generation grew. Yet the growing urgency of the climate crisis and increasingly affordable renewable power could help catalyze a regional shift away from the fuel towards cleaner energy.

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But change might be afoot. “It’s an absolute pivot point for renewables in Southeast Asia,” Tim Buckley, director of energy finance studies at the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis, told The Diplomat. While the region “has been a laggard” on renewable energy he points to game-changing recent developments. “The finances are shifting to green globally. Vietnam, the Philippines, Malaysia and Thailand will all pivot over the next two years.” Vietnam, for instance, has seen a surge in solar power development in the last year alone.

“No-one forecast Vietnam can do that. That’s how quickly you can pivot markets,” said Buckley. Earlier this month an auction for a solar power project in Cambodia saw the lowest power purchase tariff for solar so far in Southeast Asia. The Asian Development Bank, which supports the scheme, described it as “a new era for renewable energy development in Cambodia and the region”.

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“In many ways Southeast Asia reminds me of where India was five years ago,” he added. “They built a significant number of coal plants, but now they’ve got stranded assets. It’s a big problem. Southeast Asia has the opportunity to avoid that.”

Ken Feldman

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Re: Coal
« Reply #1565 on: October 11, 2019, 12:46:09 AM »
Those of you interested in the East may want to look into the stranded assets in India and Bangladesh.

https://www.chinadialogue.net/article/show/single/en/11512-Bangladesh-may-suspend-new-power-plant-approvals

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In May this year the Bangladesh Power Development Board halted approvals for new power plants because those already being constructed will be able to meet demand until 2030. There are differing views on whether Bangladesh is facing a power glut, but the discussion highlights the risks faced by Chinese investors in overseas power projects.

Buoyant electricity demand has made South and Southeast Asia key markets for energy investments by Chinese firms – particularly in coal power. But after the rapid expansion of power plant construction, some countries are facing power surpluses, increasing market and policy uncertainties, or seeing the profitability of coal-fired power fall and the risk of stranded assets rise. Chinese firms and financial institutions investing in overseas coal power projects should therefore take a long-term view of the investment environment and proceed with caution.

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The following three factors explain how Bangladesh has gone from suffering power shortages to risking a surplus:

1. Estimates of electricity demand were based on GDP targets, not actual figures

Bangladesh’s 2016 plan for power sector development used government-set GDP growth targets to estimate future demand. So a target of 7.4% annual GDP growth from 2016 to 2020, combined with longer-term development plans, resulted in estimated 2030 demand of 40,000 MW. This approach did not consider cyclical fluctuation (such as seasonal and daily changes) and ongoing falls in the energy-intensity of the Bangladeshi economy. The chair of Bangladeshi consulting firm Power Cell has suggested the industry considers realistic electricity demand and improves its methodologies.

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3. Existing capacity is underused

Oil-fired power makes up the bulk of generation capacity added over the past decade, with 80% of this being small 50-150 MW power plants. These smaller plants are inefficient and expensive. And with oil becoming more expensive and in short supply, some have not been running at full capacity, highlighting the price and supply risks faced by fossil fuel power generation.

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Bangladesh is no isolated case. Initial estimates by Greenpeace, based on power and energy development plans, see a number of South and Southeast Asian nations at risk of power surpluses.

The Indonesian national power company, PLN, predicts annual growth in demand for electricity of 8.3% between 2017 and 2026, and has planned to expand capacity accordingly. But in reality, demand for electricity grew by only 3.1% in 2017. If PLN pushes ahead with its plans, the Java-Bali region will have a generation capacity 41% higher than peak demand, far higher than the Chinese industry standard of 20% to 30%. As a result, PLN reduced predicted annual growth for 2018-2027 to 6.9% and cancelled or delayed some projects, to reduce the risk of power surpluses.

Similar trends can be seen in Vietnam and Pakistan. Utilisation of coal power capacity in Vietnam is already at a historic low. Pakistan still suffers from power shortages, but IRENA predicts a reserve margin of 37% by 2020. The Pakistani government has already cancelled some unneeded coal power projects, including a Chinese one.

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Signs of surpluses are appearing in multiple energy markets around the world. Chinese companies and financial institutions can avoid potential losses by recognising that risk and adjusting investment plans accordingly.

Greenpeace figures show that China was involved in 18.4 GW of coal-fired power projects in Bangladesh as of May 2019 – accounting for 78% of the country’s expected total coal-fired power capacity in 2022.

China is making huge investments in coal-fired power in Bangladesh, mostly in the form of equity investments. In the past, Chinese firms tended to sign Engineering, Procurement and Construction (EPC) deals, which offered fixed returns if the plant was built and running on schedule. Equity investments go deeper, giving the Chinese firm a say in the running of the plant and a stake in long-term profits – but also mean longer-term risks. According to Greenpeace’s figures, 98% of Chinese coal-power projects in Bangladesh involve equity investments, and these are all already under construction, or in planning. Those in planning account for 76% of all equity investments. Information in the public domain does not allow for an estimate of how many of these Chinese-invested projects are at risk from the possible halting of approvals, but the risks to power investors of future surpluses in Bangladesh should not be underestimated.

TerryM

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Re: Coal
« Reply #1566 on: October 11, 2019, 12:47:55 AM »
I've long believed that those mining and transporting coal are as guilty as those that burn it. If there were real teeth in environmental law, coal dealers would be dealt with as harshly as drug dealers, and coal smuggling would carry a heavy criminal penalty.


Otherwise we're just playing games.
Terry

Ken Feldman

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Re: Coal
« Reply #1567 on: October 18, 2019, 10:18:50 PM »
India requires at least three bidders for any new coal mine projects.  The problem is that the prospects for coal are so dire, that they can't get three bidders on most of their projects.

https://www.thehindubusinessline.com/economy/tepid-response-for-the-coal-mine-auction-rounds/article29642107.ece#

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Tepid response for the coal mine auction rounds
Twesh Mishra New Delhi | Updated on October 10, 2019 Published on October 10, 2019

Just 6 out of 27 mines get adequate bidders

Poor market sentiment and expectations of commercial mining have led to a tepid response for the blocks on offer during the current round of coal auctions.

sidd

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Re: Coal
« Reply #1568 on: October 25, 2019, 11:45:52 PM »
Navajo nation to shut down coal operation: Sovereignty at issue

"dispute over whether its new owner should be immune as a tribal entity from future lawsuits for environmental violations or reclamation costs."

"The Cloud Peak deal made the Navajo the third-largest coal producer in the U.S."

https://wildabouttrial.com/news/criminal-justice-news/navajo-company-shuts-coal-mine-in-dispute-over-sovereignty/

sidd

Ken Feldman

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Re: Coal
« Reply #1569 on: October 29, 2019, 12:11:56 AM »
Southeast Asia is supposed to be the region where coal growth is the strongest.  If that's the case, then stick a fork in it, 'cause it's done.

https://globalenergymonitor.org/384-2/

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More fizz than boom: 2019 sees coal plant growth in Southeast Asia dwindling as pipeline continues to shrink
Wednesday 23 October, 2019: Despite Southeast Asia being heralded as a major growth region for the coal industry, new data from Global Energy Monitor (GEM) reveals that only Indonesia saw new coal-fired power enter into construction in the first six months of 2019.

According to GEM, this year is shaping to be the second in a row in which the regional coal pipeline has declined sharply, with 1,500 megawatts (MW) entering construction in the first six months of 2019, following only 2,744 MW entering construction during 2018. As shown in Figure 1, construction starts have fallen dramatically since peaking at 12,920 MW in 2016.

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According to Ted Nace, Executive Director of GEM, construction starts are a strong indicator of the vitality of the coal pipeline. “New construction is the acid test of whether a proposed project is real or just some plans on paper,” Nace said. “To go into construction you have to get someone to commit hundreds of millions of dollars. In Southeast Asia, it looks like it’s becoming a difficult case to convince people to commit that kind of money.”

Beyond construction, the amount of coal plant capacity in pre-construction stages in Southeast Asia also continues to contract, shrinking 52% from 110,367 MW in mid-2015 to 53,510 MW in mid-2019 (Table 2). With so few projects moving from pre-construction to construction, a continuation of recent trends will mean that most of the remaining 53,510 MW in pre-construction development is more likely to be cancelled rather than implemented.


ArcticMelt2

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Re: Coal
« Reply #1570 on: October 29, 2019, 08:35:27 AM »
I've long believed that those mining and transporting coal are as guilty as those that burn it. If there were real teeth in environmental law, coal dealers would be dealt with as harshly as drug dealers, and coal smuggling would carry a heavy criminal penalty.


Otherwise we're just playing games.
Terry

The main fight against coal is now in the United States. This is due to the fact that cheap shale oil and gas makes coal mining unprofitable.

In contrast, in green Germany, coal consumption in the 21st century almost stabilized:



In Europe, coal is much cheaper than oil and gas (especially imported coal). Look at how much coal imports in Germany have increased in recent years on the chart.

Now almost half of the coal burned in Germany is imported from abroad.

Ken Feldman

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Re: Coal
« Reply #1571 on: October 29, 2019, 05:35:12 PM »
Germany slowed the reduction in the use of coal power to phase out nuclear more quickly after Fukushima.  As more renewable capacity is installed, they'll take more coal offline.

Even with the slow-down in retiring coal power plants, the amount of power generated by coal is still decreasing:


gerontocrat

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Re: Coal
« Reply #1572 on: October 29, 2019, 06:22:31 PM »
For a change - an energy graph from the USA for the optimists. (we will not mention Natural Gas)
"Para a Causa do Povo a Luta Continua!"
"And that's all I'm going to say about that". Forrest Gump
"Damn, I wanted to see what happened next" (Epitaph)

sidd

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Re: Coal
« Reply #1573 on: October 29, 2019, 10:52:00 PM »

Sigmetnow

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Re: Coal
« Reply #1574 on: October 29, 2019, 11:29:01 PM »
People who say it cannot be done should not interrupt those who are doing it.

TerryM

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Re: Coal
« Reply #1575 on: October 29, 2019, 11:49:28 PM »
Will they close down the mines or will they be auctioned to another at pennies on the dollar?
Terry

Tor Bejnar

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Re: Coal
« Reply #1576 on: October 30, 2019, 03:56:29 AM »
Murray thinks they will restructure (at the expense of workers and retirees says the Union) and be stronger than ever.  (Heard on NPR - National Public Radio - this afternoon)
Arctic ice is healthy for children and other living things.

TerryM

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Re: Coal
« Reply #1577 on: October 30, 2019, 06:54:41 AM »
^^
As I feared.
Our civilization will stop mining coal when the seams have run out, or when our civilization itself has run out.
Terry

Ken Feldman

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Re: Coal
« Reply #1578 on: October 30, 2019, 06:08:52 PM »
Coal bankruptcies are creating a ponzi scheme where the last people to invest in the assets will be left holding the bag.  Utilities are continuing to move up the dates of plant retirements to take advantage of cheaper renewables.  The only thing stopping us from retiring most coal plants now is that it will take years to build the new renewable plants to replace them.

https://energynews.us/2019/10/03/southeast/coal-has-always-been-king-in-the-south-now-thats-changing/

Quote
Duke Energy Corp. is one of the largest coal burners in America. But the North Carolina-based utility’s coal fleet is running less and less, an E&E News review of federal data shows.
In a sign of mounting economic distress, nine of the company’s 13 coal plants ran less than half the year in 2018. Eight of those facilities averaged annual run times of less than 50% between 2014 and 2018. Only two of the company’s coal facilities produced more electricity in 2018 than they did five years earlier.

Duke has started to close more coal plants in response. On Monday, the utility filed a plan with North Carolina regulators that moved up the retirement dates of three coal units. That followed a release of its plan with Indiana regulators in June that advanced the closure of seven coal units there.

https://www.greentechmedia.com/articles/read/pacificorp-proposes-massive-solar-storage-buildout-early-coal-closures-in-d

Quote
For the first time, Pacific Northwest and Rocky Mountain utility PacifiCorp is planning to rely on massive amounts of solar PV and batteries, as well as wind power, for a large share of its long-term energy needs. The company also wants to shut down economically struggling coal plants years earlier than scheduled.

Quote
The draft IRP would close five coal plants in Wyoming by 2028, instead of keeping most of them open through 2037 or later.

Quote
The utility expects to see significant savings over the 20 years covered by its IRP, compared to various business-as-usual benchmarks used in its previous analyses. Its most recent analysis indicated that it could save nearly $600 million over 20 years, largely by replacing coal-fired power with low-cost renewables.

I could post a lot more articles like this, but this post is already getting long.

Ken Feldman

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Re: Coal
« Reply #1579 on: November 01, 2019, 12:25:45 AM »
US Powder River Basin (Montana and Wyoming) coal production is down 42% since 2010.  A 19% decline is projected for next year.  The end could come in the next decade.

https://www.bloomberg.com/opinion/articles/2019-10-23/coal-is-in-retreat-worldwide-as-renewable-energy-costs-drop

Quote
Energy Information Administration forecasts quoted by Moody’s suggest that production from the Powder River-dominated Western Region will drop to 339 million short tons in 2020 from 418 million short tons in 2018, a 19% reduction and a 42% decline from 592 million short tons in 2010. Most of that decline happened while coal could still produce electricity more cheaply than renewable alternatives, a situation that’s now reversed. A comparable drop over the coming decade would shutter almost every mine in the basin.

If renewables continue to be installed at current rates in Australia, coal can be phased out by 2040.

Quote
In Australia, the world’s second-largest coal exporter after Indonesia, similar trends are afoot. The pipeline of new renewables projects, led by solar farms, now stands at 133 gigawatts, according to research group Rystad Energy. Coupled with a flood of energy-storage projects coming online by 2025, that means that coal-fired generation could be extinct by 2040, the group said Tuesday.

The article includes bad news for coal in Germany and Southeast Asia.  It states that this wasn't foreseen in 2006 when the Stern report was making projections about the costs of mitigating climate change.

Quote
The world has gone through a remarkable energy transition over the past decade, but much of the shift still lies, iceberg-like, beneath the surface. Renewables are cheaper than coal almost everywhere, a prospect that was considered so improbable at the time of the 2006 Stern Review on climate change that it wasn’t treated as a serious possibility beyond a vague hope that research and development might one day flip the script.

The worst case emissions scenario used in scientific studies projecting climate change, known as RCP 8.5, assumed that coal use would continue to increase through 2030 and then accelerate through the end of the century.  Fortunately, it looks like that won't happen.


RCP 8.5 on the left vs other RCPs at 2100

TerryM

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Re: Coal
« Reply #1580 on: November 01, 2019, 03:21:22 AM »
With Nord Stream 2 as well as the Russian/Turkish pipelines now moving forward Europe will soon have access to cheap gas, enough gas in fact to allow them to finally close their coal generating plants.
 
By trying to force the EU, and Germany in particular into buying expensive (American) LNG, the Americans may inadvertently have forced her allies into an energy partnership with Putin. Rather than isolating Russia, America may find herself and her expensive LNG in search of customers.


Terry

Sigmetnow

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Re: Coal
« Reply #1581 on: November 03, 2019, 09:03:56 PM »
Their personal requests for government favors didn’t save giant Murray Energy.
Coal Giant Murray Energy Files for Bankruptcy Despite Trump’s Support
Quote
Murray's bankruptcy stands out, in part, because of its founder Robert Murray's political fundraising for President Donald Trump and personal lobbying for rollbacks of key federal regulations in an effort to prop up the failing coal industry.

"It's fair to say that Murray has been the last coal optimist in the country," said Sandy Buchanan, the Cleveland-based executive director of the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis (IEFFA), a nonprofit clean-energy research group. "He's devoted his life to this industry and tried to make it work in one way or another. That company declaring bankruptcy is very significant."

In 2017, Murray gave the Trump administration a policy wish list that included many actions since taken by the administration, including moving to withdraw the U.S. from the Paris climate accord, eliminating the Clean Power Plan rules for coal-fired power plant emissions, scrapping cross-state air pollution rules, and changing the mine regulatory bodies that had fined his operations many times.


Murray met with Energy Secretary Rick Perry in March of that year, and one of the people in the room was Murray Energy lobbyist Andrew Wheeler, who Trump later appointed director of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. ...
https://insideclimatenews.org/news/29102019/coal-bankruptcy-bob-murray-energy-chapter-11-trump-regulations-rollback


And the hits just keep on coming:
Trump’s EPA Rolling Back Obama-Era Anti-Coal Regulation
Quote
The Environmental Protection Agency will propose easing rules on disposal of coal ash, the residue from burning coal, to make it less likely the federal government would shutter a coal-fired utility plant, in an announcement set for Monday.

The move is part of what has been a larger deregulation push by the Trump administration to roll back strict Obama-era regulations that the industry viewed as the previous administration’s “war on coal,” that pushed to shut down many coal-fired power plants. ...
https://www.dailysignal.com/2019/11/03/trumps-epa-rolling-back-obama-era-anti-coal-regulation/
People who say it cannot be done should not interrupt those who are doing it.

rboyd

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Re: Coal
« Reply #1582 on: November 09, 2019, 11:40:34 PM »
Cross-posted from the China thread:

China's coal based electricity fleet way more efficient that the US

Interesting report on the Chinese coal-fired electricity generation fleet. 50% is already made up of super-critical and ultra super-critical units (higher temperatures and steam pressure produce more electricity per unit of coal) and by 2020 all units will have to meet an efficiency level that the top 100 units in the US cant meet. With the very low utilization rate of the fleet, less efficient ones can be shut down without the need for replacement. All new plants are at the least super-efficient, so will increase the efficiency of the whole fleet.

Quote
Since China’s fleet uses more advanced technology, it also consumes less coal: an average of 286.42 grams of coal equivalent, or gce, consumed per kilowatt-hour of power produced in China versus 374.96 gce consumed per kilowatt-hour produced at lower heating value in the United States.

In 2016:
- Subcritical coal power plants in SE Asia were on average 32% thermally efficient
- SuperCritical coal power plants in SE Asia were on average 36% thermally efficient (that's 12.5% more efficient than subcritical)
- Ultra SuperCritical coal power plants in SE Asia were on average 39% thermally efficient (that's 22% more efficient than subcritical)

China already has Ultra Supercritical plants that are 10 years old running at 45% efficiency (thats 41% more efficient than subcritical). The goal is to get to over 50% efficient.

This means that China may very well be able to cut coal usage in electricity production while actually increasing the amount of electricity generated from coal.

At these levels of efficiency coal plants are pretty close to natural gas plants for CO2 emissions and have much less fugitive methane emissions during production and transport of the coal/NG.

There is also significantly less flue gas to deal with for the sulphur and nox scrubbers to deal with.

https://www.americanprogress.org/issues/green/reports/2017/05/15/432141/everything-think-know-coal-china-wrong/

https://www.worldcoal.org/file_validate.php?file=The%20Power%20of%20high%20efficiency%20coal%20-%20WCA%20-%200316.pdf

https://www.power-technology.com/projects/yuhuancoal/
« Last Edit: November 09, 2019, 11:49:13 PM by rboyd »

Ken Feldman

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Re: Coal
« Reply #1583 on: November 12, 2019, 06:25:16 PM »
China hasn't cut coal bed methane emissions as they stated they would.

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/01/29/climate/china-coal-climate-change.html

Quote
China’s Coal Plants Haven’t Cut Methane Emissions as Required, Study Finds

By Somini Sengupta
Jan. 29, 2019

China, the world’s coal juggernaut, has continued to produce more methane emissions from its coal mines despite its pledge to curb the planet-warming pollutant, according to new research.
In a paper published Tuesday in Nature Communications, researchers concluded that China had failed to meet its own government regulations requiring coal mines to rapidly reduce methane emissions, at least in the five years after 2010, when the regulations were passed.

It matters because coal is the world’s dirtiest fossil fuel, and China is, by far, the largest producer in the world.

Coal accounts for 40 percent of electricity generation globally and an even higher share in China, which has abundant coal resources and more than four million workers employed in the coal sector. Scientists and policymakers agree that the world will have to quit coal to have any hope of averting catastrophic climate change.

Quote
It required that 6.2 million tons of methane produced from coal mining be put to use by 2015.

An examination of satellite data collected between 2010 and 2015 painted a different picture. Not only were the reductions not made, but Chinese methane emissions actually increased by 1.2 million tons per year during the five-year period.

That study linked in the article:

https://www.nature.com/articles/s41467-018-07891-7

Quote
Miller, S.M., Michalak, A.M., Detmers, R.G. et al. China’s coal mine methane regulations have not curbed growing emissions. Nat Commun 10, 303 (2019) doi:10.1038/s41467-018-07891-7

Quote
Abstract

Anthropogenic methane emissions from China are likely greater than in any other country in the world. The largest fraction of China’s anthropogenic emissions is attributable to coal mining, but these emissions may be changing; China enacted a suite of regulations for coal mine methane (CMM) drainage and utilization that came into full effect in 2010. Here, we use methane observations from the GOSAT satellite to evaluate recent trends in total anthropogenic and natural emissions from Asia with a particular focus on China. We find that emissions from China rose by 1.1 ± 0.4 Tg CH4 yr−1 from 2010 to 2015, culminating in total anthropogenic and natural emissions of 61.5 ± 2.7 Tg CH4 in 2015. The observed trend is consistent with pre-2010 trends and is largely attributable to coal mining. These results indicate that China’s CMM regulations have had no discernible impact on the continued increase in Chinese methane emissions.

Ken Feldman

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Re: Coal
« Reply #1584 on: November 12, 2019, 06:53:26 PM »
And, in the interest of full disclosure, there is still new one coal power plant in the planning phase in the US.

https://www.eenews.net/stories/1061524609

Quote
Just one new coal plant is planned — and it's on the ropes
Benjamin Storrow, E&E News reporter Climatewire: Tuesday, November 12, 2019

Time is running out on plans to build a new coal plant in Kansas. The Holcomb 2 plant, an 895-megawatt unit planned by Sunflower Electric Power Corp., is the only new coal-fired power plant on the drawing board in America today.

Sunflower must begin construction on the facility by March or lose its state permit. Kansas officials say the electric power cooperative has not been in communication with the state since it filed for a permit extension in August 2018.

Holcomb 2 has long been watched by coal industry representatives and environmentalists alike. Federal figures show that about 48,000 MW of coal capacity, or roughly a fifth of the U.S. coal fleet, has retired since 2014, when the last large coal plant in America came online.

Coal retirements have been the primary force behind U.S. emissions reductions in those years. But the shutdowns have decimated the coal industry, which has struggled to deal with contracting demand.

Quote
Holcomb 2 would be the second unit at Sunflower's existing 358-MW coal plant in Holcomb, Kan. Federal data shows the plant is already running less. Where Holcomb 1 ran 63% of time in 2014, it ran only 32% and 47% of the year in 2017 and 2018, respectively, according to figures from the U.S. Energy Information Administration.

Sunflower declined comment. It instead pointed to a statement given to the Eagle, which said it will "continue to explore project options."

The power cooperative arguably faces a more challenging path forward today than it did last year. Its partner in Holcomb 2 is Tri-State Generation and Transmission Association Inc., a Colorado-based electric cooperative. In 2017, Tri-State said the chances of building the plant were "remote" (Climatewire, Sept. 15, 2017). A spokesman for Tri-State declined to comment.

Quote
"We don't see a future beyond 2030 for coal production and generation," Tri-State CEO Duane Highley told Colorado regulators last months, in comments reported by the Energy News Network.

Ken Feldman

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Re: Coal
« Reply #1585 on: November 12, 2019, 08:59:01 PM »
Coal use in India has dropped as renewables increase market share.

https://www.reuters.com/article/column-russell-india-energy/column-indias-economic-woes-hit-coal-imports-but-crude-oil-soldiers-on-for-now-russell-idUSL4N27S13C

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LAUNCESTON, Australia, Nov 12 (Reuters) - A sharp plunge in India’s electricity demand in October has been matched by falling coal imports, but weakness in vehicle sales and fuel demand hasn’t yet showed up in crude oil imports.

Power demand in Asia’s third-largest economy slumped 13.2% in October from a year earlier, the steepest monthly decline in more than 12 years, according to government data.

Coal imports fell to 14.7 million tonnes in October, the lowest since January and the third straight month of declines, according to vessel-tracking and port data compiled by Refinitiv.

Imports were also down 16.9% from the 17.7 million tonnes recorded in October last year, a further sign that India’s coal demand is softening in the face of slower economic growth.

Quote
In the first seven months of the fiscal year that started in April, Coal India has produced 280.36 million tonnes, down 8.5% from the same period last year.

The weakness in both coal imports and domestic coal output is not only a reflection of slowing industrial power demand, but also of how renewable energy is making increasing inroads into India’s generation mix.

India’s thermal coal use over the seven months to end-October was steady on a year earlier, compared with average annual growth of 6.3% over the past 12 years, the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis (IEEFA) said in a report released earlier this month.

And coal generation actually fell by 12,500 gigawatt hours (GWh) in the first seven months of the fiscal year, compared with the same period last year, IEEFA said.

In the meantime, generation from all non-coal sources, which include solar, hydro, wind and natural gas, rose by 24,000 GWh, or 8.4%, over the same period, the report said.


rboyd

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Re: Coal
« Reply #1586 on: November 12, 2019, 10:49:31 PM »
China hasn't cut coal bed methane emissions as they stated they would.

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/01/29/climate/china-coal-climate-change.html

This article is about emissions from traditional coal mining. Coal bed methane (CBM) is a completely different process that extracts natural gas that is embedded within coal seams - its one of the unconventional sources of natural gas production.

P.S. The data from the study is already 4 years old (data was from 2010-2015), shame these studies take so long to get the data and then get published.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coalbed_methane#Extraction

rboyd

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Re: Coal
« Reply #1587 on: November 12, 2019, 11:11:22 PM »
Coal use in India has dropped as renewables increase market share.

https://www.reuters.com/article/column-russell-india-energy/column-indias-economic-woes-hit-coal-imports-but-crude-oil-soldiers-on-for-now-russell-idUSL4N27S13C

The weasel words in the article you reference are highly misleading:

Quote
In the meantime, generation from all non-coal sources, which include solar, hydro, wind and natural gas, rose by 24,000 GWh, or 8.4%, over the same period, the report said.

Those non-coal sources include nuclear as well as hydro, as in the drop in coal consumption (from the qz article referenced below)

Quote
can be attributed to the unexpected rise in generation from hydro and nuclear power projects this year, said Ashish Nainan, an analyst at Care Ratings.

This season’s monsoon rains in India have been the heaviest in 25 years. As a result, hydro projects generated about 96 terawatt-hours (TWh) of electricity in the first half of this financial year, 9.8% more than what the central electricity authority (CEA), the government’s planning arm on electricity systems, had estimated earlier.

In the same period, nuclear power stations generated 24 TWh of electricity, 11.45% more than the CEA’s estimates. India’s nuclear plants are running at 80.69% of their overall capacity, an improvement of nearly 20% over “last year when two nuclear plants had been under maintenance for around four months,” Nainan said.

The article provides a nice chart that shows hydro, nuclear increasing significantly while wind generation fell and solar rose significantly (I had to look up the source info as they used yellow for both solar and natural gas in the chart).

The quality of journalism from some so called reputable sites (e.g. Reuters) is quite appalling, I have been taught, and keep getting taught, to always double check what they say unfortunately.

So - big jumps in hydro (weather related), a significant increase in solar (weather or capacity increase?) and a jump in nuclear together with an economic slowdown cut fossil fuel consumption (coal and nat. gas). With the government looking at boosting the economy plus all that coal plant spare capacity, this could turn around very fast.

https://qz.com/india/1742462/coal-consumption-by-indias-power-plants-may-fall-in-2019/

« Last Edit: November 12, 2019, 11:35:13 PM by rboyd »

gerontocrat

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Re: Coal
« Reply #1588 on: November 13, 2019, 12:42:44 AM »

The quality of journalism from some so called reputable sites (e.g. Reuters) is quite appalling, I have been taught, and keep getting taught, to always double check what they say unfortunately.

A shame, but you are right. But not completely the journalists' fault. Mainstream media have been cutting their journalist numbers right back as more and more people switch to social media sites while the corporate owners struggle to keep share price & dividends up.

More and more I automatically start with the words in a report and then try to find the original source data as the report itself  is so often superficial and/or misleading.
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TerryM

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Re: Coal
« Reply #1589 on: November 13, 2019, 02:29:57 AM »
^^
Ramen!


I was at a presentation last year where a number of journalists & former journalists laid out the facts about the numbers of their colleges who had been let go. Sad times for those who prefer a well written piece from knowledgeable sources.
Terry

Ken Feldman

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Re: Coal
« Reply #1590 on: November 13, 2019, 08:35:26 PM »
An overview of the current status of coal world-wide.

https://energypost.eu/peak-coal-on-the-horizon-a-country-by-country-review/

Quote
Peak coal on the horizon: a country-by-country review
September 2, 2019 by Christine Shearer

Though the global coal fleet still increased by 17GW in the first half of 2019, net of retirements, the pipeline is definitely shrinking. Two thirds of proposed projects never even get started. Notably, in China existing coal plants have been running, on average, only 50% of the time since 2015, evidence of a large excess of capacity. But is it enough? The IPCC’s pathway to 1.5C requires unabated coal power generation to fall by 55-70% by 2030 and be effectively phased out by 2050. That’s why all eyes are on the 15 countries – headed by China (49%), the US (13%) and India (11%) – responsible for 91% of the global coal fleet, generating 2,027GW worldwide, to turn that shrinking pipeline into shrinking capacity. Christine Shearer of Global Energy Monitor dives deep into the latest global stats.

Around the world, 12.7 gigawatts (GW) of new coal capacity has been proposed so far in 2019 – less than 3GW above the amount that has retired (10GW). These trends mean the global coal fleet will soon decline, because only a third of proposed capacity has actually been developed since 2010.

Quote
Conversely, 132GW of planned new capacity was cancelled in 2019, mainly from lack of activity. The largest numbers of cancellations were in China, India, Myanmar and Turkey.

Quote
China continues to push forward with previously postponed coal plants. However, new proposals are slowing and existing coal plants have been running only around 50% of the time since 2015 on average, indicating a large excess of capacity.

India has undergone a large downscaling in its future coal plans, in favour of lower-cost renewables. Turkey has 34GW of coal in the pipeline, but has commissioned only 12% of its proposed capacity since 2010 – a rate that would lead to only 4GW of the 34GW being completed. In reality, the figure may ultimately be even lower than this.

Japan, South Korea, and Taiwan have all reduced their proposed coal capacity, with no new large proposals since 2015. Meanwhile Japan and Korea are also facing public pressure to cut their international financial support for coal, which would leave only China as a significant source of global coal funding – given over 100 financial institutions are restricting coal financing.

gerontocrat

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Re: Coal
« Reply #1591 on: November 14, 2019, 12:47:40 AM »
Official China Energy Data

It exists, it is on the internet. Though limited in historical detail.

And it  still has the China / Communist syndrome built in - of each bit in a separate box. No nice summaries.

But for what it worth my first small exercise is attached. Wind + Solar & Coal. So Wind + Solar is growing, but coal is still king.
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rboyd

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Re: Coal
« Reply #1592 on: November 15, 2019, 11:00:32 PM »
Is coal power winning the US-China trade war?

Actually writing my PhD chapter on China right now, so researching a lot of this stuff. China's greatest worry is a seaborne energy blockade during a conflict with the US, so they are very focused on being able to withstand that.

They keep coal imports at only 6% of consumption, keep a large spare capacity in the coal-fired electricity generating fleet, and are increasing their coal mining capacity (and the efficiency of the coal-fired units). This all gives them the ability to replace all coal imports (increase domestic production) and seaborne natural gas imports (increase the utilization of coal-fired generating plants) if required.

Then their only issue is oil, and they are pushing to increase domestic oil production as well as 20% EV sales share by 2025 (plus most probably all the bus and taxi fleets as well as public transport).Together with removing "frivolous" oil usage, such as vacation air travel and a chunk of petrochemical products, this gives the ability to rapidly reduce oil consumption if required. Russia and Central Asia then become very important as overland friendly suppliers of oil and gas.

The local air pollution issue has been removed through very strict particulate matter regulations (that even the top 100 coal-fired generating units in the US could not meet), so the CCP can focus on the energy security issue given the increasing probability of conflict with the US.

Quote
China has signalled that coal power will be a top priority within national energy policy as the government prepares its next Five Year Plan (2021-25).

On 11 October, Premier Li Keqiang chaired a meeting of the National Energy Commission in Beijing that emphasised China’s energy security and coal utilisation and downplayed the importance of a rapid transition away from fossil fuels.

Each meeting of the commission, which was established in 2010 and has met only four times, has had a significant impact on policymaking. Chaired by Premier Li and attended by more than 20 chiefs of China’s ministries and bureaus, the commission is the top body for coordinating energy policy.

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The government’s concern over energy security is positive for coal given that China has lots of it. At the meeting, Li Keqiang spoke of speeding up the construction of large-scale coal transportation and electricity transmission infrastructure. He wants to promote “safe and green coal mining”, the “clean and efficient development of coal-fired power”, and to “develop and utilise coalbed methane”. 

Li also downplayed China’s low-carbon energy transition. At the same meeting in 2016, Li called on China to: “increase the proportion of renewables in the energy mix” and “accelerate” such a transition. This year, there was no mention of renewable energy’s share of the energy mix and “acceleration” was replaced by the blander term “development”. The change of tone was hard to miss.

https://www.chinadialogue.net/article/show/single/en/11642-Is-coal-power-winning-the-US-China-trade-war-
« Last Edit: November 15, 2019, 11:55:41 PM by rboyd »

TerryM

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Re: Coal
« Reply #1593 on: November 16, 2019, 06:19:52 AM »
^^
Thanks
I hadn't considered how importantly energy security might be considered in China. This doesn't bode well for peace in the near term.


Maintaining a strong defensive posture in this case isn't compatible with transitioning to cleanest options available.
Damn
Terry

gerontocrat

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Re: Coal
« Reply #1594 on: November 16, 2019, 02:08:13 PM »
^^
Thanks
I hadn't considered how importantly energy security might be considered in China. This doesn't bode well for peace in the near term.


Maintaining a strong defensive posture in this case isn't compatible with transitioning to cleanest options available.
Damn
Terry
If energy security is the No #1 priority, one might think that wind + solar development (using their own designed / stolen technology) would be part of it. The restless urban population also expect to see some moderation in air pollution.

Alternative speculation....

We know that China's State-owned enterprises have mountains of debt of which much is invested in non-performing or under-performing assets. Coal plants are a very big lump of those assets. The Centre has been unable to stop Provincial and Local Governments continuing or accelerating these investments - it is a money-machine for local politicians.

Many of those politicians who opposed Xi Jing have been cleaned out (labour camps, against a prison wall for a quicker death**).

The State cannot afford to not use these assets - and Xi Jing needs the loyalty of those local politicians.

Hence a moderation of the "green transition" policy?
______________________________________________
** The maximum punishment for "an economic crime against the State" is death
"Para a Causa do Povo a Luta Continua!"
"And that's all I'm going to say about that". Forrest Gump
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rboyd

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Re: Coal
« Reply #1595 on: November 16, 2019, 10:52:59 PM »
Xi Xinping did clear out quite a few of his opponents through the anti-corruption campaigns (many of them forced into retirement), but the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) is still much more complicated than a top down hierarchy.

Xi has to find agreement across differing and cross-cutting constituencies - regional heads have the same rank as national cabinet ministers, state-owned enterprises (SOEs) can be their own fiefdoms and there are cross-cutting social coalitions. That does complicate things like closing down old plants quite a lot - hence the relative slowness.

SOEs are predominantly funded by the state banking system, which is backed up by the central bank. In effect, the state owns the SOE that owes money to the state bank. Just as in 2008/9 with the Federal Reserve money printing bailout to the big banks, the Chinese central bank can facilitate the writing off of bad debts (this is Modern Monetary Theory: MMT) through money printing if necessary. The same thing that was done by the European Central Bank when it bought all of the bad Greek debt from the private banks as part of the Greek bailout (really a bankers bailout, no new money went to the Greeks).

The air pollution has already been substantially remedied, you can check out individual city pollution at this site:

https://aqicn.org/city/shanghai/

Sigmetnow

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Re: Coal
« Reply #1596 on: November 18, 2019, 02:28:43 AM »
Two of America’s biggest coal plants closed this month
November 16, 2019
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First the dirtiest ones began shutting down. Then it was the old ones. Now it’s some of the biggest. America’s coal plants are turning off the boilers, facing brutal economics and customers fleeing for natural gas and renewable energy.

This week, Arizona’s 2.25-GW Navajo Generating Station burned its last load of coal after no buyers turned up during a two-year search. Trade publication Utility Dive reports that the fate of the financially ailing plant was sealed after a bid to force an Arizona water agency to buy its electricity failed. The Navajo station emitted about 20 million metric tons of carbon dioxide each year, equivalent to 3.3 million cars. It’s one of the biggest retirements in a year of massive shutdowns.

The second is Pennsylvania’s 2.7-GW Bruce Mansfield unit. The plant’s bankrupt owner began shutdown on Nov. 7, almost two years ahead of schedule. It was the state’s largest coal-fired plant, operating for 40 years.

Together, the two retirements equal all the emission reductions from coal plant shut-downs in 2015, a record year when 15 GW of mostly smaller and older units were shuttered, reports Scientific American. Last year, 14 GW were mothballed. In 2020, more are on the way, including Kentucky’s Paradise plant.

It’s not climate regulations. It’s economics. “Once you’ve cleared out all the old inefficient stuff, it’s logical the next wave would be bigger and have more implications for the climate,” ...
https://qz.com/1749023/two-of-americas-biggest-coal-plants-closed-this-month/
People who say it cannot be done should not interrupt those who are doing it.

rboyd

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Re: Coal
« Reply #1597 on: November 18, 2019, 06:52:08 AM »
China’s Energy Game Plan Features a Giant Coal-Hauling Rail Line

200 million tons is equal to all of China's coal imports.

Quote
Almost a decade in the making, the nearly $30 billion Haoji Railway will start around the end of this month and eventually haul as much as 200 million tons from key producing regions in the north to consumers in the south. That’s more than Japan uses in a year and could cut China’s domestic seaborne coal trade by 10% in the long run, Fenwei Energy Information Services Co. forecasts.

Quote
It currently takes about 20 days to deliver coal from Shaanxi to Hunan, Hubei and Jiangxi via the main seaborne route. The new line could cut shipment time to just three days, Ding estimates. Power plants will have more flexibility in managing inventories and responding to abrupt shifts in weather conditions, which can affect electricity use.

https://www.bnnbloomberg.ca/china-s-energy-game-plan-features-a-giant-coal-hauling-rail-line-1.1319050

wdmn

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Re: Coal
« Reply #1598 on: November 20, 2019, 07:23:40 AM »
More on China:

https://www.ft.com/content/c1feee40-0add-11ea-b2d6-9bf4d1957a67

China ramps up coal power in face of emissions efforts


"China is set to add new coal-fired power plants equivalent to the EU’s entire capacity, as the world’s biggest energy consumer ignores global pressure to rein in carbon emissions in its bid to boost a slowing economy.

Across the country, 148GW of coal-fired plants are either being built or are about to begin construction, according to a report from Global Energy Monitor, a non-profit group that monitors coal stations. The current capacity of the entire EU coal fleet is 149GW.

...

The renewed push into coal has been driven by Chinese energy companies desperate to gain market share and by local governments who view coal plants as a source of jobs and investment. While electricity demand in China rose 8.5 per cent last year, the current grid is already oversupplied and coal stations are utilised only about half the time."




TerryM

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Re: Coal
« Reply #1599 on: November 20, 2019, 11:14:45 AM »
^^
In the past you've mentioned China's push for energy security. Could much of the above move to locally available coal be attributed to security concerns? Is there any possibility that these projects could be postponed or mothballed if global tensions eased or if Russia's gas pipelines come on line ahead of schedule?
Terry